Synthetic biology has the potential to transform cell- and gene-based therapies for a variety of diseases. Sophisticated tools are now available for both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells to engineer cells to selectively achieve therapeutic effects in response to one or more disease-related signals, thus sparing healthy tissue from potentially cytotoxic effects. This report summarizes the Keystone eSymposium "Synthetic Biology: At the Crossroads of Genetic Engineering and Human Therapeutics," which took place on May 3 and 4, 2021. Given that several therapies engineered using synthetic biology have entered clinical trials, there was a clear need for a synthetic biology symposium that emphasizes the therapeutic applications of synthetic biology as opposed to the technical aspects. Presenters discussed the use of synthetic biology to improve T cell, gene, and viral therapies, to engineer probiotics, and to expand upon existing modalities and functions of cell-based therapies.
Keywords: CAR T cells; CRISPR; bacterial engineering; biosensor; cell therapy; cellular engineering; gene therapy; genetic engineering; logic gating; oncolytic virus; receptor engineering; synthetic biology; tumor-associated antigen.
© 2021 New York Academy of Sciences.